Uma Bharati dares West Bengal govt

Denied permission by WB govt to hold any rally to mark the start of `Ganga Samagra Yatra`, BJP leader Uma Bharati dared the state to stop her.

Kolkata: Denied permission by West Bengal government to hold any rally to mark the start of `Ganga Samagra Yatra` at Gangasagar, BJP leader Uma Bharati Wednesday dared the state to prevent her from holding it or arrest her.

"I will definitely hold the Ganga Yatra on Friday. If the government wants to put me in jail, it may do it," Uma Bharati, who is holding the week-long Ganga Samagra Yatra from September 21 to September 28, told newspersons here.

"I have alone been allowed by the administration to hold Ganga arti at the confluence. No announcement, congregation, rally or procession has been allowed," she said adding the administration has cited law and order problems to deny her permission.

Requesting the government `to see reason,` the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister said "I am not afraid. I want to make it an apolitical event, but if Trinamool Congress wants to make a political issue of it I am prepared to face it."

Stating that she is organising the Ganga Yatra from Gangasagar, where the river meets the Bay of Bengal, to Gangotri, where it rises from the glaciers in the Himalayas, for awareness to keep the river clean and pollution free, Bharati said "If anyone thinks that this is communal then it is very disappointing."

West Bengal state BJP president Rahul Sinha said administrations of different districts through which the river passes from Gangasagar to Farakka in the state had earlier given permission but later withdrew it.

"A public meeting planned in front of the Kapil Muni Temple at Gangasagar has also not been allowed," he said.